Ways to Get the Most for Your Money as a Renter

If you are like most renters, a large percentage of your monthly income is spent paying the rent each month. Experts agree that you should spend no more than one-third of your monthly income on housing. However, with the ever-increasing cost of housing in the Pasadena area, most renters end up spending a much higher percentage of their paychecks on housing. Here are XXX ways you can cut your costs and get more for your money.

Talk to the Landlord

Just because the landlord has a set figure in mind, this doesn’t mean you can’t do a little negotiating before signing the lease. This is a good time to see if the landlord might be amenable to lowering the rent in exchange for your signing a longer lease. If not a lower rent, then perhaps a better parking space or some other form of perks.

Get a Roomie

While you are looking at rentals, you are likely to find that larger rental homes or apartments are not that much more expensive than single bedroom units. You might also be surprised at how much renting one of these units can save you money. How is this possible you might ask? By renting a unit that has enough bedrooms to support one or more roommates. Thus, if you were looking at a one bedroom studio for $1,500 and two-bedroom unit costs $2,000, by adding a roommate your cost is only $1,000. This is a net saving of $500 per month.

Shop for Extras

What comes with your apartment or rental home varies from one landlord to another. Things like gas, electric, sewer, water, and trash can all add significantly to your monthly housing costs. Your best bet is to keep an eye out for rental listings that include some or all of these costs in the rent. However, this being said, you still need to compare the cost of rentals that include these with those that don’t and determine which is likely to cost you more each month. Just because the monthly rent includes them, doesn’t mean it is the best deal.

Share the Love

We all love to have access to the internet, in fact, it has become virtually a necessity anymore. If you are planning to rent an apartment, why not talk to your new neighbor about sharing WiFi access. You can help them cut the cost of their internet bill and both of you will end up saving money.

Cut Your Energy Bill

Besides the actual rent, your utility bills are likely to be your next most expensive bill. You can reduce your power bill significantly by investing in LED light bulbs. You can also further reduce your water bill (if you have to pay it) by installing the latest low-flow fixtures on faucets and showerheads. Install insulated curtains, cover the windows with plastic film, install foam winterizing protectors on outlets and switches. All of these things will help keep the cost of renting a home under control and allow you to rent a nicer home.